This Is What Rejection Looks Like.


Change can be challenging. Evolution can feel like a dismantling of all we know and trust, disengagement with our perceived identity, a letting go of our safety net, a face-to-face with our mortality, a questioning of everything we say we believe.

Small things feel Big.
Big things feel inconsequential.
Opposites make sense.

Time moves too slowly.
And then, much, much too fast.

Rambling and meandering is how I find my way. I never know where I’m going. I am often envious of people with sharp focus, pointed paths, a direct view, and short sentences.

My short sentences turn into long fragments. Twisted tangents. I dig holes and look under rocks, hoping to find stashes of ancient wisdom and magical talismans, praying for signs of connection.

My wishes and dreams sometimes get weary and are recovered in the perfectly timed droppings of a flicker’s feather, clouds morphing into sunrises, sunsets consumed by stars, and a much bigger picture than I can take in.

My loneliness is subjugated by a stranger’s sincere smile, the laughter of a baby ringing just out of sight, and a deer crossing my path with an expression of empathy — as I choose to interpret it. Nonetheless, the paths have intersected. And the timing holds its own weight and significance.

Doubt does not have to knock. It is ever present and hangs about my peripheral without pause. Though it also enjoys jumping out in front of me, arms flailing like an enraged octopus, as if I could miss its persistent bombardment. It even goes so far as to hide under the rocks before I can turn them over. It is my most constant companion, my most defiant nemesis.

But hope is never overcome. Because even the slightest glimmer, the tiniest spark, is enough to keep it alive.

And love, as convenient and cliché as it may sound, will always be the sword that conquers, the most joyful of weapons, and the fiercest of truths. To love and be loved — I will never take for granted. If I have nothing else, that is enough. That is much.

Someone was knocking on the door. It felt risky to open it. Rejection had just paid me a visit, and doubt was eating lunch right in front of me, smacking his lips. I could hear them conspiring against me. They couldn’t even be bothered to whisper, and they were throwing faults like ping pong balls. I didn’t want another unwelcome visitor. I thought despair might be the next to knock.

But it was Wind. Her tapping was gentle but persistent. She greeted me with the kindest gesture. Refreshingly cool with an underlining and generous warmth, amid a light sprinkling of glistening snow. Flawless in its simplicity and grace. Bringing me back to where I had started. Encouraging my faith. I took it as a sign.

As I write this, I look out the window and I can see the leaves that have held on to their beloved branches longer than their companions, golden and shimmering on the mostly bare tree before me. Their sight makes my heart more open, my breath more deliberate, my tears even more ready. They too will eventually dance their way down to the ground. Morph and become a part of everything. As we all do. As we all have been.

A raven lands on the top of the tree. I am looking out of an upstairs window, and his view and mine, for the moment, are the same. I am grateful for my view — and his. Though I don’t know all he sees, I can imagine, and that is something.

To know all I don’t know. To be here. To offer what I can. And to continue to move, to change, to risk, to grow.

My perspective scrolls through scenarios both real and imaginary. Shifts from one foot to another. Leaps over the greatest desires and snow-packed mountains. Rolls around in the stickiest mud and deepest fears.

I carry and hold remnants of what was. Sections of what is. Everything that may be,

The raven flies off, and a part of me goes with him, my world broadened by our ever-shifting views.


Finding beauty, even solace, in the everyday, multimedia artist Melanie Zipin composes her songs and stories from the material that surrounds her. Taking an early departure from her inner-city roots, the high desert of New Mexico provides ample space and vantage point for such an introspective watcher, as she leads the reader from the small tales of local folk and everyday occurrences up to the mountaintop for reflection. Her writings urge the reader to celebrate the underdog, even when they are lost, knowing that the human spirit can be rebuilt with dragonfly wings, crisp fallen leaves, and the lone call of a coyote. She has one son, and lives with her husband far from the concrete jungle, thankful for every drop of rainwater that sustains them, in a house they built from hand-piled mud, where she makes art and music, and writes and writes and writes.


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